Situation Update for Tuesday, May 12

Posted at 11:11 a.m.

STATE UPDATES

The Minnesota Department of Health reported an additional 695 COVID-19 positive cases and an additional 23 deaths due to the viral disease. That brings the total to 12,494 cases and 614 deaths. Of those deaths, 501 are residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. To date, a total of 1,436 health care workers have been confirmed to have had COVID-19 at one point.

In a 24-hour period, 5,053 tests were completed bringing the cumulative total to 120,834. As of today, 8,223 have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated. Cumulatively, 1,799 have been hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19, with 496 hospitalized as of today and of those, 199 are currently in the ICU.

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order yesterday allowing students in critical care sectors to attend classes for needed in-person training or testing in order to graduate.

According to a release, the order will fill workforce shortages by accelerating entry into critical sectors for up to 1,000 students that will serve Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations, such as those Certified Nursing Assistant programs.

“We are committed to providing high-quality care for Minnesota’s most vulnerable communities,” said Governor Walz. “This Executive Order will help fill workforce shortages in critical sectors across Minnesota by creating a path for additional trained, licensed employees in sectors that are critical to protecting Minnesotans’ health, safety, and well-being.”

“There are students across our state who have a passion for and a commitment to the work of caring for others who are very nearly ready to join the workforce at this critical moment,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This Executive Order helps them across that finish line so that they can help us care for our most vulnerable Minnesotans.”

 “On behalf of our students enrolled in career and technical programs throughout the state of Minnesota who have had to put their face-to-face learning on hold, and the employers who are waiting to hire them, I thank the Governor for making this decision,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State.  “As we conduct these technical skill classes, be assured that our presidents, faculty, and staff are working with the Minnesota Department of Health to make certain they adhere to all health and safety protocols warranted by the pandemic to ensure a safe learning environment.”

LOCAL UPDATES

Yesterday, Leech Lake tribal officials confirmed the first case of COVID-19 within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Reservation. According to a release, the patient was confirmed to have travel history and contact with an infected family member. Read more about it here.

Sanford Health’s network recently received a number of LUCAS CPR machines, with seven arriving in Bemidji. According to a release, COVID-19 may present cardiac damage in as many as one in five patients, even those without respiratory distress. The CPR devices limit the hands-on CPR patients may require, as hands-on CPR can limit the effectiveness of medical care workers’ personal protective equipment. Read more about the devices here.

MDH reports, as of today, six COVID-19 cases in Beltrami County, two in Clearwater, three in Mahnomen with one death, eight in Cass with one death and 33 in Itasca County.

Beltrami County Public Health confirmed last week that the six cases in the county have all recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated, meaning no active cases. Clearwater County has also been reporting two total cases for a number of weeks, and Cass County has seen a slow increase in cases with one death confirmed over the weekend. MDH will report all cases historically associated with that county, even if all have recovered.

Itasca County engages in almost daily press briefings as their COVID-19 cases grow. The Emeralds in Grand Rapids has been identified as a congregate care facility with an outbreak, with several residents and staff testing positive for COVID even without presenting any symptoms. Today, they will discuss education and graduation plans amid the pandemic.

MDH today confirmed the following COVID-19 positive cases for nearby counties: Polk, 54 with one death; Marshall, eight; Pennington, one; Koochiching, two; Roseau, one; and Becker, 25.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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